Moscow has dubbed its new coronavirus vaccine "Sputnik V" after the Soviet satellite, the head of the country's sovereign wealth fund said Tuesday, after Russia declared itself the first country to develop a vaccine.
Kirill Dmitriyev, the head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund which finances the vaccine project, said Phase 3 trials would start on Wednesday and industrial production was expected from September.
"We've seen considerable interest in the Russian vaccine developed by the Gamaleya Institute from abroad," he said, adding that "preliminary applications for over one billion doses" of the vaccine had been received from 20 countries.
He said that along with foreign partners Russia was ready to manufacture 500 million doses of vaccine per year in five countries.
Dmitriyev also denounced "coordinated and carefully orchestrated media attacks" designed to "discredit" Russia's vaccine.
Highlighting Soviet-era cooperation with the United States on space programmes, he urged other countries to "enter into a constructive dialogue with us and provide their citizens in the near future with a high-quality and safe drug that actually saves lives and can halt the pandemic."
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